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Built in 1928, The UCPAC Mainstage is the largest functioning center for the performing arts in Union County and is host to a vast lineup of live performances and events each year. This historic landmark has become the centerpiece of the recently established arts district of Rahway, which has played a vital role in the revitalization and cultural renaissance of the community.
A Brief Timeline of the UCPAC Mainstage
October 16th, 1928 - Opening Night at the Rahway Theatre
1935 - Wurlitzer organ sees its last performances; is retired
1960 - Wurlitzer organ is brought back out into use sporadically for matinee performances
Early 1970s - The Rahway Theatre falls into disrepair
1984 - The title to the theater is transferred, and restoration begins
1985 - the Rahway Theatre is officially renamed "Union County Arts Center"
1986-1990 - Primary interior restoration
1996 - Facade restoration begins
2007 - Wurlitzer organ falls into disrepair due to extensive water damage
2014 - Repairs to the Wurlitzer are completed, and the organ currently plays at all silent movie screenings held at the stage
Governed by a Board of Trustees, the Union County Arts Center Inc. (d.b.a. The Union County Performing Arts Center) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving both the community of Union County and the state of New Jersey. The Union County Performing Arts Center will provide quality programming and performances that strive to be educational, affordable, and enrich the arts within our diverse communities. With four performance spaces (the UCPAC Mainstage, Hamilton Stage at UCPAC, The Fazioli Room, and the Loft at UCPAC) we, as a whole, are dedicated to making Rahway, New Jersey a hub for the performing arts.
We at UCPAC commit ourselves to:
Providing greater access to the arts in both the City of Rahway and in the County of Union
Encouraging cultural and educational opportunities for all ages
Showcasing both established and emerging local performers and artists
Preserving and enhancing the historic Rahway Theatre as an architectural and cultural landmark and maintaining its designation on the State and National Register of Historic Places
Programming at UCPAC includes:
Children's plays and live performances
Musicals and plays presented by local theater troupes
Classic and independent film presentations
Multicultural programs and events
Live music concerts
Additional uses of the spaces at UCPAC includes children's summer camps, recitals, business meetings, and community events such as festivals and outdoor concerts.